We praise collaboration for improving problem solving, increasing creativity, and spurring innovation. Done correctly, it does yield all these benefits. But it can also be scary. Here are three facts you have to accept, and embrace, about collaboration before it can work:
- You won’t know the answer. There’s no point in collaborating on a complex problem if you know how to solve it. Be comfortable with ambiguity and accept that you aren’t necessarily the expert.
- Roles will be unclear. Responsibilities are often fluid. Be ready for the role you play to change with each phase of the work.
- You will fight. If you avoid conflict, nothing will happen. Knowing how to debate tradeoffs between options means knowing how to productively argue.